which consists of the villages of Crich, Fritchley and Whatstandwell.

Testament of George Radford dated 1599

Transcribed by Terry Radford and reproduced with his permission

On the Seventh day of August 1599 and in the 41st year of Queen Elizabeth
Testament of George Radford

In the name of God, Amen. I George Radford of Crich in the County of Derby, yeoman, being in reasonable good health of body, and of and in good sound and perfect remembrance, I thank God and praise him for it, knowing and considering the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death and being ignorant of the time when, and being possessed of divers and sundry goods chattels and worldly possessions, and desirous to leave the same, to be in such sort employed and enjoyed after my death, as that quietness thereupon may ensue, and God therein may be glorified, do ordain constitute and make these presents the true Testament of my lat will, and herein contain my Testament and last will in form and effect hereafter following videlicet, First I principally betake commend and give my soul unto almighty God my creator, by and through the merits of whose son Jesus Christ, I trust to be saved and to have all my sins pardoned and to be an inheritor of his heavenly house and everlasting kingdom. My body I commit to the earth from whence it came, wishing it to be buried in the Church or Church Yard of Crich aforesaid, in such seemly and Christianly manner as my vocation at my departure out of this transitory life shall require, at the sight of my Executrix and Overseers hereof hereunder nominated. Also I charge will require and devise that shortly after my death all my debts funeral expenses and legacies shall be taken and paid out of all my goods and cattle. And then also I give and bequeath unto my welbeloved wife Elizabeth the best Almery [Aumbry] in my house and one ring of gold which she brought with her. Also I give unto Rosamund Poole my daughters daughter the second Almerye in my house with one great pot and the best pan and all my Chests, except those four which came with my wife from Horsley, which four chests I also give to my said wife. And I give to every one of my god-children living at my death twelve pence, To Samuel Thacker one ewe and one lamb, And besides to my god-daughter mistress Mary Clay twenty shillings in gold, to George Ive my servant thirteen shillings fourpence; to my godson George Radforth of Brackenfield ten shillings, to my godson Marmaduke Wield a ewe and a lamb. I bequeath and devise to every poor parishioner inhabiting in the town and parish of Crich aforesaid, not having a cow at the time of my death, whose names also shall be first set down in writing and agreed upon by my said supervisors and the vicar and Churchwardens of Crich aforesaid, for the time being, the sum of six pence. Item I give to my daughter Mary wife to George Wilson the sum of forty shillings for and in full satisfaction of all her child’s part. Item I give to my brother Thomas Radforde twenty shillings in gold, and to every of my brethren and sisters children living at the time of my death, the sum of three shillings fourpence. Also I give and bequeath unto every one being my household servants at the time of my death three shillings fourpence. Item I give and bequeath my farm interest and term of years to come and to expire after my death of and in certain grounds I hold in High Edge to Rosamunde Poole my daughter’s daughter towards her maintenance and bringing up, yielding to the landlord the yearly rent reserved upon the same. Also I give to John Ive the elder four pounds, and to John Ive Junior one ewe and one lamb. Item the above said legacies being paid, and by debts and funeral charges being also discharged, I do give unto the said Elizabeth my wife the Third part of all my goods then remaining, And all the rest and residue of all and singular my goods cattle and chattels moveable and immoveable (after my debts funeral charges and legacies aforesaid shall be discharged) I fully bestow will bequeath and devise and give unto the said Rosamunde Poole, And I trust pray and appoint my good friends Master John Clay, Master Anthony Bradshawe, Master George Poole and Henry Butler the Younger to govern oversee and to advise the said Rosamunde concerning her education and all which shall belong to her. And further I do constitute ordain appoint and make the said Rosamund Poole the full sole and perfect Executrix of this my Testament and last will. And I also do pray authorize and upon special confidence and Trust do appoint and make my very friends Master John Claie of Crich aforesaid and Master Anthony Bradshawe above said and my loving brother Thomas Radford and Henry Butler, William Butler and Christopher Helewe Supervisors of the same, most heartily desiring them to vouchsafe their care and pains to call on and procure the true performance of this my said will, and that if any doubt question or ambiguity after my death chance to arise or grow concerning anything herein above written, to agree and appease the same according to the true meaning of these presents, and according to peaceable and good conscience, to every of which supervisors I give ten shillings. And in witness hereof I the said George Radford have hereunto set my hand and seal, and published these presents to be and stand my last will and testament, Revoking all former wills by me made as concerning the disposition of my goods cattles and chattels whatsoever, dated the day and year first above written. Subscribed sealed published confirmed and delivered in the presence of us videlicet William White, A Bradshawe, Exupery Bradshawe, the mark of the aforesaid George.

On the 18th day of December in the year of the Lord 1602 a commission was issued to George Poole one of the faithful commissaries nominated in the said testament of the said deceased, to administer the goods rights and credits of the same deceased according to the tenor and duty of the aforesaid testament or last will of the aforesaid deceased during the minority of Rosamunde Poole the executrix nominated in this testament to well and faithfully administer the same in the person [sic – recte presence?] of John Burrough Notary Public and Proctor etc, sworn on the holy gospels . Extracted.

What do we learn from this will?

Firstly that the text quoted in George Radford’s Inquest is not part of this will as proved, although it bears the same date. This text was described as an annexe. It was probably intended as a declaration of wishes for the disposal of George’s real estate, which could not be devised in its entirety by will until after 1660, and so was not proved in the probate court but was presented at the Inquest post mortem. George’s daughter Mary Wilson was not cut out of his will, but received a single legacy in full compensation for her expected inheritance.
George Radford has no sons according to his will and IPM. He does however have a brother named Thomas Radford, and both sisters and brothers who have children. He has a godson named George Radford or Radforth living at Brackenfield (Derbyshire).
George Radford’s wife Elizabeth came from Horsley (Derbyshire). The furniture she brought to the household from her family home is to be hers exclusively (under the law of coverture, husbands and wives were treated as a single legal entity and all personal estate was held jointly so until this point she would have nothing of her own).


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